Skirmish before the Thomas & Uber Cup Finals 2014: The India Open to be held in New Delhi
After the All England Badminton Championship in the UK in March, the BWF Super Series is returning to Asia as the India Open is set to be staged in New Delhi. Many international badminton stars will compete as will a number of highly popular VICTOR Stars, including Indonesia’s mixed doubles pair Tontowi Ahmad／Liliyana Natsir and the new Korea men’s doubles pairing of Yoo Yeon Seong／Kim Sa Rang. It is worth noting that New Delhi will also be the host city of the Thomas & Uber Cup Finals 2014 at the end of May.
Yoo Yeon Seong
Kim Sa Rang
Chinese Taipei’s Tai Tzu Ying will be seeded seventh in the women’s singles and will play China’s Yao Xue in the first round. Yao took the title at the Malaysia Open last week and has been in top form recently, so the match between the two is sure to be the focus of attention.
In an interview with a Malaysian TV channel in March, Tai revealed that she has a “mental block” about India because every time she goes she finds it hard to adjust to local conditions and feels unwell, and this affects her on-court performance. She expressed the hope that this time she would be better able to adapt to the local climate and food. After all, she will also travel to New Delhi as a member of the Chinese Taipei team to take part in the Uber Cup Finals in May.
In contrast, “Indonesian Lightning” Ahmad／Natsir are well-accustomed to playing in India and will take part as defending champions. It is likely that they will meet the ROK’s top mixed doubles pair “handsome man, beautiful woman” Ko Sung Hyun／Kim Ha Na in the semi-finals;the two aren’t a couple but are often the subject of conversation and have quite a few fans in Taiwan. They rank sixth in the world rankings at present, showing that their good looks are matched by their playing ability. It can be expected that the pair will serve up some exciting matches for fans at the India Open.
In the men’s singles, it is widely believed that “Badminton King,” Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia, and China’s Chen Long will clash in the final. In terms of the winner in previous meetings, Chen seems to have the slight upper hand, but with Lee taking victory at their most recent meeting, it is hard to know who will win this time.
Leading Korea men’s singles player Shon Wan Ho is seeded eighth and will play Chinese Taipei’s Hsu Jen Hao in the first round. Another Chinese Taipei VICTOR Star, Chou Tien Cheng, will play local player Gurusaidutt.
Top-seeded in the men’s doubles are Japan’s Endo Hiroyuki ／Hayakawa Kenichi. The Korea’s new pair Yoo Yeon Seong／Kim Sa Rang will play together in an international tournament for the first time. We will be waiting with baited breathe to see if they can do well at this tournament.
The top seeds in the women’s doubles are Denmark’s Pedersen／Juhl; the top ranked pair in the world, China’s Yu Yang and Wang Xiao Li, will take a break from each other at this tournament , Yu playing with newcomer Tang Yuan Ting and Wang partnering Ma Jin, with Wang／Ma seeded sixth.
VICTOR Stars appearing the first round
Chou Tien Chen (Chinese Taipei) vs. Gurusaidutt R.M.V. (India)
Shon Wan Ho  (Korea) vs. Hsu Jen Hao (Chinese Taipei)
Lee Dong Keun (Korea) vs. Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk (Thailand)
Bae Youn Joo  (Korea) vs. Pai Hsiao Ma (Chinese Taipei)
Tai Tzu Ying  (Chinese Taipei) vs. Yao Xue (China)
Sun Ji Hyun  (Korea) vs. Anastasia Chervaykova (Russia)
Yoo Yeon Seong／Kim Sa Rang (Korea) vs. Fran Kurniawan／Bona Septano (Indonesia)
Chen Hung Lin／Lu Chia Pin (Chinese Taipei) vs. Qualification [Q]
Ko Sung Hyun／ Shin Baek Choel (Korea) vs. Berry Angriawan／Ricky Karanda Suwardi (Indonesia)
Jwala Gutta／Ashwini Ponnappa (India) vs. Chaladchalam Chayanit／Peeraya Munkitamorn (Thailand)
Jang Ye Na／Kim So Young  (Korea) vs. Anggia Shitta Awanda／ Della Destiara Haris (Indonesia)
Kim Ha Na／Jung Kyung Eun (Korea) vs. Amelia Alicia Anscelly／Fie Cho Soong (Malaysia)
Cheng Wen Hsing／Hsieh Pei Chen (Chinese Taipei) vs. Jongkonphan Kittiharakul／Rawinda Prajongjai (Thailand)
Chen Hung Lin／Cheng Wen Hsing (Chinese Taipei) vs. Abhijeet Naimpally／Trupti Murgunde (India)
Shin Baek Choel／ Eom Hye Won (Korea) vs. Akshay Dewalkar／Pradnya Gadre (India)
Ko Sung Hyun／Kim Ha Na  (Korea) vs. Abhishek Ahlawat／Kristi Das (India)
Yoo Yeon Seong／Jang Ye Na (Korea) vs. Mads Pieler Kolding／Kamilla Rytter Juhl (Denmark)
Tontowi Ahmad／Lilliyana Natsir  (Indonesia) vs. Hirokatsu Hashimoto／Miyuki Maeda (Japan)